Perhaps next year, McPherson High’s girls wrestling team will be recognized as the first-ever Kansas State High School state champion.
As it is now, the Bullpups are the champions of the Kansas State Girls Wrestling Championships, even if it isn’t recognized by KSHSAA.
That could very well change, however, as a vote will soon be taken and it’s expected the sport will be KSHSAA-sanctioned in 2020.
The Bullpups, trailing much of the day, outlasted Fort Scott on Saturday at the Roundhouse 113-110 to win the third-ever state event. Rounding out the Top 5 were Spring Hill (92), Great Bend (76) and Emporia (61).
MHS’ Mya Kretzer was chosen as the meet’s Outstanding Wrestler as she went 5-0 to win the state title at 126. She won four of her matches by a fall. The only non-pin was a 9-0 major decision. She pinned Hutchinson’s Maritza Jimenez in the title match.
The Bullpups had eight wrestlers in all earn medals.
Haley Schafer at 138 and Sailor Peterson at 152B were state-runners-up. Kaleigh Marbut was third at 120 and Holli Giddings was third at 152.
Other MHS placers were Brittani Burgess at 145 B (fourth), Riley Baker at 106 B (fifth) and Madison Skytte at 182 (seventh).
For the third event of its kind, MHS coach Doug Kretzer can see the continued growth.
“The level of competition is the biggest difference,” he said. “When girls have the opportunity to wrestle against other girls, they get significantly better. When girls wrestle against boys, they have to stylistically change everything. You’re basically wrestling not to lose. When you wrestle other females, now you can wrestle the way you want to and that’s when your skillset grows. When it’s girls against girls, all the the girls’ skillset improves dramatically.”
The event has grown from 53 wrestlers to nearly 300 and from 37 schools to 80. But Kretzer can see more improvement coming.
“I feel like we could be a little farther ahead as a state,” he said. “I felt like we had the pieces in place that KSHSAA was going to say ‘let’s do it this year.’ But I think we’ve really got a solid foundation. When you’re trying to build a solid house, everything depends on the foundation and I think the foundation’s there. I think they (KSHSAA) are going to say yes because the foundation is in place. I think this is proof to KSHSAA and the other states coming on board that girls wrestling is here to stay.”
Here are the MHS wrestlers, records and places:
106B — Riley Baker, 2-2, 5th
113 — Catalina Palacios, 0-3
113C — Annah Turner-Simon, 0-2
113C — Amethyst Hale, 1-2
120 — Kaleigh Marbut, 4-1, 3rd
120B — Arriana Gross, 0-2
126 — Mya Kretzer, 5-0, 1st
138 — Haley Schafer, 5-1, 2nd
138 — Jaycee Rausch, 1-2
145 — Morgan Jones, 0-1
145B — Brittani Burgess, 1-3, 4th
152 — Holli Giddings, 3-1, 3rd
152B — Sailor Peterson, 3-1, 2nd
182 — Madison Skytte, 2-3, 7th